Families who wish to dedicate obituary, memorial or condolence messages to their loved ones or friends in The Straits Times or Berita Harian can now do so online at www.sphobit.com.sg.
The new service, offered by Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) Print Classified, can also be accessed on tablets or smart-phones.
It allows users to upload pictures and insert their own notices, by selecting from formatted samples or if they wish to, create their own designs. After they have completed and made payment by credit card, they can send the notice over for immediate publication on the next day or for a specific day, depending on their request and time of the application.
At present, all bookings for such notices have to be placed in person at the Classified counters in SPH New Centre at Toa Payoh North, or through an authorised media representative, at these times:
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 9:45pm
Saturday : 12:30pm to 9:45pm
Sunday and public holidays : 12:30pm to 9 pm
With the new service, users can now do so anytime at their convenience. This is the first time a newspaper is offering such an online service.
Mr Jerry Siah, SPH Print Classified's Head of Operations said: "We are keenly aware that families will have many things to attend to when a loved one passes away. We hope to be of service with this online booking arrangement. "
For new announcements, families would need to attach a copy of the death certificate when they place the notice. This can be done in the form of a digital photograph or copy of the document. There is no need to attach any formal document if friends and relatives are placing condolence or in-memoriam messages.
Mr Siah added: "With this new online service, we also hope to make it more convenient for our readers who are not in Singapore to offer their condolences to their relatives or friends."
Should users encounter any problem while using this service, they can call the service hotline 6319-5192 or email the service team at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
This new service is only available for The Straits Times and Berita Harian at the moment but it will be extended to the Chinese newspapers soon.
Work is also underway to upgrade the service so that users can share the obituary notices via their mobile devices to make it more convenient for them to inform relatives and friends.